The Texas Workforce Commission has pledged $9 million to end what it calls the “middle-skills gap” for Texas workers who have some post-high school education but lack a four-year degree.
TWD officials say the statewide strategy will address a situation where, due to technological advances in the workplace, demand has dramatically increased for employees with middle skills.
To that end, TWC has committed the funds for job creation, job preparedness, and job progression activities to help put more Texas workers on a path to gaining these middle skills.
“The Texas economy is expanding, and there are more than 800,000 jobs available for workers with the right skill set,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “Many of these jobs require very short-term training or education but can connect Texans to a lifetime of increased career potential and earnings.”
Eligible activities under the initiative include: a career pathways app for students and job seekers, one-on-one job coaching, training and certifications in high-demand occupations and a mobile credential tracker.
“Technological advances give us the opportunity to leverage talent and resources to address this gap in local communities across Texas, giving our workforce the tools they need to succeed,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Expanding our TWC programs with special emphasis on middle skills ensures all job seekers in Texas have resources and opportunity for upward mobility.”
The Ending the Middle Skills Gap initiative builds on existing TWC programs and services, which are available to all Texans through https://www.twc.texas.gov or through one of the 180 Workforce Solutions Centers around the state.
TWC has earmarked additional funding for virtual reality technology to support career exploration, short-term training for parents of children in TWC’s child care program, outreach efforts, training and certifications in advanced trades/manufacturing, expanding the adult early learning math call center and providing remedial math assistance for applicants in the registered apprenticeship program.
The agency also promises to enhance new and existing programs to optimize participation of foster youth and people with disabilities.